Consumers next year likely will remain financially conservative, Mintel Comperemedia said.
The Chicago company said in a report last week that 86% of consumers expect to be "more conservative" with their money in 2010, and 75% plan to be "more cautious" about borrowing.
The findings echo this week's Federal Reserve Board of Governors Flow of Funds report, which concluded that American are saving money and reducing their debt at levels far exceeding recent years, Mintel said.
"Our recent consumer surveys point to a changed mind-set for consumers," Susan Menke, a behavioral economist at Mintel, said in a press release. "The recession left people feeling shaken and vulnerable, wary of previous years' spending binges and craving a more conservative approach to money. We expect that thrifty, save-for-a-rainy-day mentality to continue next year."
The average consumer's cautious mood presents opportunities for financial companies, Menke said. "As people look to save money and reduce debt next year, companies can benefit by gathering assets and building relationships with consumers," she said.
The research company surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults online from July 29 to Aug. 3.